The worst of winter is finally behind us, and all over the city, people are emerging from hibernation and heading outdoors to embrace all the exciting things to do in Toronto and the GTA this spring. We can finally go outside without being bundled up to our eyeballs and it feels so, so good. Not to mention being able to stroll down the sidewalk unencumbered by giant mounds of snow.
There are always things to do in Toronto, but the city truly blossoms in the warmer months. Food at the city's best restaurants tastes even better, drinks at the best bars are even sweeter and the streets come alive with buzzing patios full of al fresco diners. Sure, brunch still exists in the winter, but the weekend lineups are so much more bearable when it's not freezing out. Plus, if we're tempted to opt for bottomless mimosas, we can just walk home after. Ahh, spring.
On top of all that, the pop-ups, events and things to do in Toronto are in full swing. From delicious foodie events to expos and limited-time offers, there are so many things to do in Toronto this spring. Get out there and soak it all in.
Things to do in Toronto and the GTA this spring
Easter brunch and high tea
April 7 – April 10 | W Toronto, 90 Bloor St. E.
This Easter, W Toronto is pulling out all the stops. Available in the Living Room from Friday, April 7th to Monday, April 10th, the Easter High Beau-Tea is an indulgent, beauty-themed event that sees confectionaries delivered to the table in a custom makeup case. From carrot macarons and ruby fudge bunnies to edible strawberry "lipsticks" the Easter treats are cuter than cute. For $95, all your sweet and savoury snacks (hello, lamb carpaccio toast) and tea are included, but you'll want to add on a bottle of bubbly, too.
Upstairs at lush rooftop restaurant Skylight, a decadent Easter brunch is being served on Saturday, April 8th and Sunday, April 9th. For $95 per person, dig into dishes like pomegranate lamb skewers, harissa chicken, zaatar eggs benny, roasted mushroom toast and Easter sweets — all served tapas style for the table. Why not stay for the weekend and enjoy it all?
Taste of Home
April 10 | 300 Adelaide St. E.
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Embark on a culinary journey around the world at George Brown College's Taste of Home. For $50, your ticket lets you sample your way through a variety of 36 canapés and 24 beverages, all hailing from different cultures. Expect delicious food made with premium Canadian ingredients infused with international flavours, plus multicultural entertainment, a silent auction and more.
Restaurants Canada Show
April 10 – April 12 | Enercare Centre, 100 Princes' Blvd #1
If you’re in the foodservice and hospitality industry, the RC Show is the must-attend event of the year. This year, the show is pulling out all the stops, showcasing culinary innovation and groundbreaking talent, new food and drink competitions and an elevated RC Pop Up Experience. You can also catch the return of the year’s most anticipated signature events: Breakfast With Champions and Industry Night Out. Discover over 1,000 booths from trusted foodservice brands across nine curated pavilions, watch eight world-class competitions unfold, and learn about insights and trends from thought leaders speaking on seven different stages.
There are also several opportunities to experience the industry, from sampling across the more than 300,000 square feet of exhibition space to a new and enhanced Food Truck'n Experience. Plus, the RC Pop Up Experience will feature the newest in design inspiration, a snack bar concept by chef Matt Dean Petit, an all-day cafe and five of Canada’s top bars.
March 15 – April 23 | Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W.
Thermal cycling meets art and food at Public Sweat. Presented by Art Spin, Public Sweat is a sauna village comprised of five different sweat bathing structures, each created by a different artist. Start and end your journey in the indoor lounge with tea and snacks, surrounded by visual and video art and sometimes live performances. Then spend your two-hour session cycling through the hot spaces and cold rinse at your own pace. Each one is unique in design and ranges in experience and temperature. Relax, unwind and sweat out the sins from all the delicious indulgences of the month.
Ricarda's En Blanc - Champagne Brunch Party
April 23 | Ricarda's Restaurant, 134 Peter St.
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Don your chic spring whites and brunch in style at Ricarda's Champagne Brunch Party. For $70 per person you get all-you-can-eat access to the seafood bar brimming with oysters, shrimp, smoked salmon and octopus ceviche; the barbecue bar with lobster, bacon-wrapped scallops and beef short ribs; and the charcuterie bar. Drooling yet? You also get to pick a main course like eggs benny or lemon ricotta pancakes. DJ beats will be bumping as you bask in the chill vibes of the South of France right in downtown Toronto at this beautiful restaurant.
Honour Earth Month at 1 Hotel Toronto
April 1 – April 30 | 1 Hotel Toronto, 550 Wellington St. W.
This sustainability-focussed hotel is the perfect place to honour Earth Month. Sip and savour special menu items that support sustainability like their Sapphire Tides cocktail made with aquafaba, a vegan alternative to egg whites without the carbon footprint; Bombay Sapphire gin that uses 100 per cent sustainably-sourced botanicals; and topped with a sustainable wafer. Pair that with mindful dishes like trout crudo in rhubarb juice, and grilled lamb chops sustainably sourced from 100km Foods. They'll also be hosting a number of events throughout the month including an Earth Day Bee-Inspired Brunch on Saturday, April 22 and a crystal healing brunch on Saturday, April 29.
Try the Jerk Mortadella & Pistachio Pizza
April 3 – April 30 | Pizzeria Libretto locations
We say pineapple does belong on pizza, and if you don't believe us, head to any Pizzeria Libretto location during the month of April to try their new Jerk Mortadella & Pistachio Pizza. A collaboration between Pizzeria Libretto’s chef Rocco Agostino and Patois’s chef Craig Wong, the traditional Neapolitan crust pizza is topped with jerk cream sauce, jerk mortadella, fior di latte mozzarella, pistachios and a pineapple reduction. It's sweet, spicy and only available for a limited time. Best of all, for every Jerk Mortadella & Pistachio Pizza sold, Pizzeria Libretto will donate one of its frozen pizzas to the Daily Bread Food Bank.
April 12 – May 1 | Multiple locations, Prince Edward County
With its abundance of rustic, modern wineries; farm-to-table restaurants; and lush scenery, the County is always worth a visit anytime from spring to fall. But from mid-April to the end of May, a journey to Prince Edward County is especially fruitful thanks to the return of Countylicious. The event sees 16 County restaurants providing locally-sourced prix fixe menus at $20 or $30 for lunch and $45 or $60 for dinner. Visit famed spots that are participating, like The Royal, the Drake Devonshire and Merrill House, and don't forget to add on a glass or bottle of wine from the region.
Hot Docs Film Festival
April 27 – May 7 | Multiple locations
The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival is back this year with a lineup of 10 feature films and seven shorts, all created by Toronto filmmakers. We're especially excited for Skyline, a short film about the eponymous old-school diner that's been slinging comfort food to Parkdale patrons for decades. The beloved spot is Queen West's oldest family diner, but it was recently taken over by new ownership. You'll have to watch the film to find out what happens next. It premiers on April 30th at TIFF Bell Lightbox and will have a second showing at Scotiabank Theatre on May 2.
Celebrate 60 years of Pusateri's with big savings
April 1 – May 31 | Pusateri's locations
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Pusateri's is launching the 60/60 Experience — 60 days of promotions and experiences. Every day for the months of April and May, they'll be offering different in-store items for 60 per cent off. It's just what we need in this economy. Happy birthday Pusateri's and happy savings to us.
High Tea and High Tops
Until June 4 | The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W.
Leave your pinky fingers at the door: One of our favourite brunches in the city gets a makeover this spring. High Tea and High Tops sees The Drake offering a laid-back, boozy take on afternoon tea, which partners with Toronto's Foodpreneur Lab incubator program. The collaboration pairs a pot of quality tea with a three-tiered tower of treats — like jerk chicken sliders, scones and jam, plus yuzu lemon tarts — made with ingredients from Black food entrepreneurs.
If you want to make your brunch a little less PG 13, you can spike your teapots: Cocktails like Summer Blossom Spritz serves around five people ($80). Or add on a bottomless mimosa for $40, with your choice of orange or grapefruit juice, while you vibe to re:verse's jazz and hip-hop sounds.